Friday, February 17, 2006

"And You Are?"

I figured out why I have a hard time introducing myself to people. Like I said the other day, my name I can do just fine but what comes after that stumps me. Do I say I am a mother, a wife, a writer, a homemaker, a....? I keep wanting to answer the question with the words, "I'm me." I realized that it is because I want people to value the essence of who I am not what I do. What I do is not who I am. Is it? If it is I am in big trouble because for the majority of my day(s) I do nothing.

I think I've had a problem with this whole concept ever since my husband went back to work as a nurse. When he was a truck driver, he was a truck driver. A darn fine one too, I might add. When he went back to being a registered nurse his worth seemed to go up in some people's eyes. They esteemed him higher because of what he did to bring home a paycheck. They lost sight of the fact that one job is not more important than the other. We need them all to make our day to day lives keep moving much as they are today. It pissed us both off. These people failed to recognize the essence of who my husband is. They only saw what he did for a living.

Does this mean I am somehow perfect in keeping the two things separate? Of course not. I'm guilty of the whole thing as much as the next person. But I do know that I am leary of being known for what I do instead of who I am.

I think being at my uncle's funeral this week makes this topic surface too. What really matters in life seems to boil down to relationships. The rest is chaff. When I think about how people are eulogized it is about the essence of who they were. That's the stuff that sticks.

So the next time I go to my weekend course and have to introduce myself I am going to say my name and "I'm me" to the instructor. And my greatest wish is that she would want to know "...and who are you?" meaning she would want to get a sense of my essence.

Last week I met someone face to face who I have only known through email and my blog. We shared tea and lunch and more words than time to say them all. At one point she was talking about gossip and she said to me,"Why would I want to talk about someone else when I have your story sitting right here in front of me?"

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